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The Art of Asking


It takes all kinds, they say. As a very young boy, I remember Sunday afternoons as an exciting opportunity for all sorts of adventure. Whether it was exploring the muddy creek bed behind our house, building elaborate fortifications in the thick grove, or mounting my banana seat to grip the tasseled handlebars of my aluminum steed and chase down robbers, there was always some mischief in need of conjuring.

mine was blue, with clouds, and those sweet spoke-slidy things

Sunday mornings typically found myself at church - this was the perfect opportunity to recruit an ally for my afternoon roguery. This generally manifest itself in one of two ways:

a.) I begged my parents to invite a friend over for the afternoon.

b.) I begged a friend's parents to invite me over for the afternoon.

I know. Shameless. My mother would scold me. "You can't just invite yourself over to other people's houses all the time! RUDE!" But it didn't bother me. I knew what I wanted. I knew who could give it to me. And I knew it wouldn't happen unless someone initiated the conversation - someone had to ask the question. I learned that if I wanted a thing, that someone must be me.

There was a time in my childhood when I would employ these strategies multiple times a week. It was constant. My success rate was maybe 28% or lower. But it didn't matter. I was learning how many no's it took to get to a yes, and as anyone in sales will tell you, there's nothing quite like closing the deal. It only had to work a couple of times for it be worth it to me, and it o